Last significant amendments in the administrative-penal proceedings

The administrative violation is an act (action or omission) that violates the established state order, has been committed guiltily, and has been determined by the law as an offence with corresponding administrative sanction. In practice, almost every law contains administrative-penal provisions that describe administrative violations and the sanctions envisaged and affect citizens and legal entities.

           The Administrative Violations and Sanctions Act (“AVS Act”), which dates since 1969, was updated at the end of 2021 with the aim of making the completion of the administrative-penal proceedings more effective and to speed up the collection of public state receivables. 

           What is important to know in case an administrative authority issue an Act for the establishment of administrative violation (AEAV)? 

1.     New type of administrative sanction. 

           In addition to the existing administrative fines, temporary deprivation of the right to practice a certain profession or activity and public condemnation, the legislator adds a new administrative sanction, namely community service, which may be imposed separately or together with any of the above sanctions.  

           The new type of administrative sanction may be imposed when the administrative violation is repeated (within one year from the entry into force of a penal decree) or in case of systematic commission. The duration of the sanction community service is at least 40 hours and not more than 200 hours per year. The sanction shall be imposed by the relevant district Court by awarding a Judgement and its execution shall be organized by the relevant probation board at the current address of the sanctioned person. 

2.     A new financial incentive for voluntary payment of a fine/property sanction.

           In case you do not want to appeal your penal decree, you can only pay 80% of the fine/property sanction within 14-days of receiving the penal decree. 

3.     Closing of administrative proceedings by Settlement Agreement.

           Each party to the proceedings shall have the right to propose the conclusion of Settlement Agreement to the other party. The offender shall have 14-days to propose to the administrative authority conclusion of the Settlement Agreement, considered from receiving the Act for the establishment of administrative violation. 

           The agreement should be executed in writing and will be final and binding substituting the penal decree. If an agreement is reached, the parties shall agree on whether an act has been committed, whether it constitutes a violation, whether it has been committed by the person, and whether it has been committed guiltily. 

           The amount of the fine/pecuniary sanction shall be 70% of the minimum or of the exact specified amount provided for the committed violation and where no minimum is specified in the Act, 70% of half of the maximum and shall be payable within 14 days from the conclusion of the Agreement. In the event of failure to pay within the term, the sanctioning authority shall declare that no agreement has been reached and issue a penal decree.

4.     New longer terms for written objections and appeals against penal decrees. 

           The term for submitting written objections is increased from three to seven days and the term for appealing against penal decrees and electronic slips is increased from seven to fourteen days.

5.     Definitions of „minor case” and „apparent minor case” are introduced. 

           „Minor case” shall be a case where the violation committed in view of the absence or insignificance of the damages and in view of other mitigating circumstances poses a lower degree of public threat compared to the regular cases of a violation or of non-performance of an obligation of the relevant type and „apparent minor case” shall be a violation, where the act discloses an obviously insignificant degree of public threat. 

           The warning that the administrative authority delivers to the offender in a minor case is now required to be always in writing, to contain certain information and it could be appealed.

           Important! Administrative violations related to traffic safety committed after the use of alcohol, drugs, or their analogues cannot be qualified as minor cases.

6.     Delivery of penal decree by electronic means. 

           It is now possible, at the express request of the offender, the penalty decree to be delivered by a message sent electronically through the information system for secure electronic service of the Unified portal for access to electronic administrative services.       

           This article has been prepared for the purposes of general information only and does not constitute legal advice with respect to any particular subject or situation. For specific legal advice, you should contact an attorney-at-law. Stoeva, Tchompalov & Znepolsky is not responsible for any legal action undertaken on the basis of the information contained herein.